Halloween is just a little over a week away which means it’s almost too late time to get the spooky decorations out and get ready for all the trick-or-treaters who will be coming around. If you’re planning to go a little further and make up a mini-haunted house, we have a few tips on things you can use to give the place a vibe that is both eerie and entertaining!
However, if you are making a new structure and it’s intended to be a temporary structure, you will still need to make certain that it is fairly sturdy. For the floor, use strong wood instead of relying on cheaper ply-wood — you can always re-purpose it later on. You can try weighting the structure down by making a gap between the bottom and the flooring and using sandbags as anchors in lieu of digging or making a more traditional foundation. The walls can be plywood with supporting studs placed to keep them from being pushed out of position. And, while a flat roof is fine, a steepled roof with rafters showing can give you much more room to run wires and to give the impression of spookiness.
If you’re not certain how to build such a structure, talk to someone who is. The chills should come from deliberate effects, not people being scared because your haunted house wiggles due to poor design and support.
2) Small speakers are better than large – The worst haunted houses are those where the decibel level on every effect leaves the visitors temporarily deaf. Use smaller speakers placed strategically to transmit the sounds you want people to hear as they pass through your haunted house. Smaller speakers are also easier to rig and don’t require as much support in a structure as larger ones do.
4) Use blacklights and strobes sparingly – Blacklights are great when used carefully and with paint that is designed to reflect them. Strobes can also be a great way to spice things up. However, don’t overuse either of these. Blacklights can cause eyestrain and dizziness since they cause the human eye to focus in ways that don’t occur much in nature and strobes can induce headaches in many people and seizures in a few. If you do use strobes, make certain that anyone going into the haunted house knows in advance.
5) Have a little something for those who make it through – Growing up, one of my neighbors would do a small haunted house in their front yard. At the end of it, the doorway out opened into their garage and they always had rigged-up bags filled with “brains” (cold spaghetti), “eyeballs” (peeled grapes), and “guts” (sausage skins filled with Jello or liquids). The kids could put their hands in these bags without being able to see in them and indulge that “ick” factor. Afterwards, there was the expected candy, candied apples, and sometimes more games like “Haunted Fishing Pond” or “Shoot a dart at the moving jack-o-lantern.”
Needless to say, these were the most popular people in the neighborhood at Halloween.
6) Be ready to take younger kids through and show them how everything works for real – If a child gets upset or scared inside the haunted house, have someone who can go in and get them and then walk them through the house with a flashlight and show them exactly how everything works. Getting to see behind the curtain does a lot to calm a kid down. Also, it’s educational and the kid will remember it for years to come.
How else do you think I know about this stuff?
Halloween is a great holiday for kids to get their spook on and for adults to have a little fun. With modern gadgets and careful planning, this Halloween can be one that is remembered for years to come without being one that is still being paid off for years to come!